J Genet Med.  2007 Dec;4(2):167-178.

National survey for genetic counseling and demands for professional genetic counselor

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Medical Genetics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. genetics@kornet.net

Abstract

PURPOSE
The necessity of professional non-MD genetic counselor has been recently emphasized in a medical field. By conducting a national survey on the demands for generic counseling and professional non-MD generic counselor, we can make a long-term master plan to execute the educational program for professional genetic counselors and indeed promote genetic counseling in Korean health care service in a systemic manner.
METHODS
The survey has been conducted from September 3rd to October 4th of 2007 in a way of e-mail, telephone interview, fax, and direct contacts. It's targets were senior researchers and professors in medical and non-medical institutions, policy makers, research institutions or foundations. The survey questions consist of 16 questionnaires.
RESULTS
As a result of survey, 102 of 650 people responded. 80% of respondents indicated that genetic counseling is needed as a health care service and 34% among them considered it as "the most needed". In addition, 77% of the respondents showed that, it is necessary to have a professional non-MD genetic counselor with a master degree or higher in the field of medical genetics and among them 29% thought it as "the most necessary". A 77% of respondents considered that the cost of genetic counseling should be covered by health insurance and among them, 29% answered "strongly agreed". A 56% of respondents chose the answer of "They have a plan to hire the professional non-MD genetic counselor" in their institution, and among them 71% selected "within 5 years" in terms of when to hire. Also, they tend to expect the role of the professional non-MD genetic counselor to be not only "genetic counselor" (60%), but also "researcher" (42%), "educator" (18%) and "clinical laboratory coordinator" (19%).
CONCLUSION
The 102 of 650 people responded to the survey. Based upon the nationwide survey over the needs on genetic counseling in health care service and demands on the professional non-MD genetic counselor, systematic educational program for the genetic counseling, with reimbursement coverage for counseling service by health insurance should be emphasized in development of a master plan.

Keyword

National survey; Genetic counseling; Professional genetic counselor
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